#BookReview: Guarding the Princess (Faking It #3) by Marika Ray

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 6, 2019

Summary:

I hired a new bodyguard. I should have guarded my heart instead.

Charlotte
The way out of my gilded cage was clear; the reward, freedom.
Fall in love and get married before my twenty-first birthday and I can give up the throne I don’t want.

Unfortunately, the boyfriend I propose to turns me down just days before my birthday and my mother, the Queen, summons me back to my country.
New plan: fake a boyfriend.

Ryker
First rule of bodyguarding: don’t get involved personally with clients.
I’m only supposed to get her back to Regora safely and on time.
But then she cries on my shoulder when I catch her running away and she shares her family secret.
Now I want to protect her heart. The only problem is princesses don’t fall for bodyguards. Not in real life.

Review:

Marika Ray has written yet another entertaining, enchanting, romantic comedy with “Guarding the Princess”.

It was hard to put this book down once I picked it up.

Charlotte was such a fun character, she kept me laughing throughout the story.

Ryker was unique and was afraid of his feelings.

Put this all together and you have one perfect read!

I have read all three of the books in the Faking It Series and tremendously enjoyed all of them.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: No Time for Goodbyes (No Brides Club, #7) by Christina Butrum

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Reviewer : Serena Soape

Release Date: November 1st, 2019

Summary:

When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

Brooke Collins thought she had everything she wanted. Since relocating from her small town to work as an Oncology Nurse at one of Manhattan’s most respected children’s hospitals, she’s worked hard to make a life for herself in the big city. When a life-threatening emergency takes place back home, every choice she has made in the past three years is suddenly called into question.

As a firefighter, Austin Jensen knows how to handle a fire, but that doesn’t help when dealing with old flames. When his ex comes back to town and old feelings begin to resurface, he begins to wonder if the connection between them is worth risking getting burned again.

Sparks fly in this sweet, second chance romance as Brooke finds new reasons to stay in Lawson Heights and leave her life in the city behind while Austin remains unsure of what their future may be. Should they fan the flames or douse them with water and walk away for good?

Review:

Christina Butrum has once again written a sweet and from the heart romance with “No Time for Goodbyes”.

Brooke has life all figured out until she must head back home. When things feel like they are upside down, she is able to find some stability with Austin.

In the midst of making these decisions, it seems like they were always meant to be, but is she willing to uproot her life, abandon the No Brides Club and start life with Austin. You will have to read to find out.

This was my first read in The No Brides Club, so it can definitely be read as a stand alone. However, I am anxious to read the others !!!!

I have read many of Butrum’s books and all of them have been great !!!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review

4 Stars.

#BookReview: Crescent City Moon: Crescent City Series: Book 1 by Nola Nash

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Things put underground in New Orleans don’t often stay there. Even things that should – like bodies, and secrets.

How do you fight an enemy you can’t see that can kill on a whim? In 1820s New Orleans, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, Zéolie Cheval discovers the mangled body of her father murdered in his bed and a maniacal voice haunting the recesses of her mind. When the priest sent to comfort her is killed while the house is swarming with police, Zéolie becomes entangled in a web of mystery that takes her from the French Quarter, to the Ursuline Convent in the Ninth Ward, and deep into the Louisiana swamps.

Officer Louis Saucier, who is losing his heart to Zéolie and his grip on logical reality, helps her find the pieces to her puzzle. The mother superior of the Ursulines offers assistance from a mediumistic nun and a voodoo priestess, blurring the lines between the spiritual and the supernatural. After opening the family crypt to find it uninhabited, Zéolie realizes that her father lied about her mother’s death – amongst other things. Now, Zéolie must to come to terms with magic she inherited from her grandmother and the price that comes with it.

Step inside the magic and mystery of the 1820s French Quarter to see if an unlikely menagerie can help Zéolie take down a murderous maniac while she shields the officer she loves. Can she harness powers she didn’t know she had? Or, will she make the ultimate sacrifice?


Review:

“Crescent City Moon” by Nola Nash is scary and sinister just in time for the Halloween season.

If you have ever been to New Orleans, you may want to read this novel. I found myself constantly looking up places on the map to see if they were the ones I remembered. The hotel where we stayed, the convent and the cemeteries we visited were all mentioned in the story. I had a great time reading this book.

Nola told of the old religion that was practiced in new Orleans years ago and is still in existence today. I remember the voodoo shops we walked by and now I know more about spells and witches. This book messed with my dreams and sleep and I’m looking forward to a good night of sleep!

It scared me too pieces and not sure when I’ll be ready to read more like this but, maybe there was a spell cast by Nola (NOLA) while reading her book and I won’t be able to resist. 

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: Winter Flower by Charles Sheehan-Miles

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Release Date: June 4, 2019

Summary:

From the bestselling author of Just Remember to Breathe and The Last Hour, a shocking and poignant story of a family on the brink of destruction and the transformational events that could bring them back together—or tear them apart.

Every day, Cole Roberts reminds himself that life wasn’t always this bleak. He was once passionately in love with Erin. Sam used to be an artistic and lively kid. They hadn’t always lived in a shabby two-room house in rural Alabama, where he runs a mediocre restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
That was before Brenna disappeared. It was before Cole lost his job and they lost their home.

Every day it gets worse. Erin drinks wine out of the bottle and spends her days with a tormented expression, searching the web for signs of their daughter. Sam hides in his room and rarely speaks. And Cole works himself to a stupor for a paycheck a fraction of the size of his old salary.

Until one day a phone call changes everything.

winter flower is at once a tragic tale of the disappearance of a child; struggling with gender identity; of the dark world of sex-trafficking and the transformation and healing of a family. Sheehan-Miles’s longest novel delves into the depths of family life—and how, sometimes, we can heal and find restoration.

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Review:

Tragic events can alter a family faster than anything else. In Charles Sheehan-Miles’s book “Winter Flower” tragedy takes it’s toll on one family barely holding it together in the first place.

A swirling mass of horrible happenings tear through a family and brings forth some of the worst people civilization has to offer to aide in their suffering. Yet, strength and love holds on and slowly helps repair some of the damage. Will time heal all wounds or erase the past? Does it ever?

I was riveted to this realistic gritty story. Characters would repulse me and others had me cheering for the true grit they showed under unimaginable sorrows! This book takes humanity at its best and worst and weaves an unforgettable tale!

When ever the chance happens upon you in your favorite book store or pursuing a beloved ebook site, you look and see “Winter Flower”,  do yourself a favor and get a copy!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Find Me In Florence by Jule Selbo

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Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

Release Date: October 30, 2019

Summary:

Survival means finding the courage to dig deep and find that elusive inner strength…

Finding herself at life’s crossroads, always-dutiful Lyn Bennett jumps at the chance to teach in historic Florence, Italy; it’s an opportunity to unearth the mysterious details of her mother’s past as one of Florence’s revered Mud Angels who helped save the city during the 1966 flood – as well as to re-evaluate the choices she’s made in her life. When her husband betrays her and a best friend falls to the wayside, Lyn is devastated. When handsome and magnetic Matteo strives to help, she has to decide if she will allow the people – and the city of Florence, with its pride, vitality and beauty – inspire her to open her heart again?

Review:

Oh my, I think I have fallen in love! 

“Find Me In Florence” by Jule Selbo was so beautifully written and has so much to offer a reader. The majority of the story takes place in Florence, Italy. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and Jule made me feel like I was there. It is such a gorgeous, ancient city. Some of their customs, foods and language were woven into the story. I enjoyed the history of the Mud Angels. They were volunteers who worked endlessly following a flood back in 1966 to save artifacts that were hundreds of years old and many times irreplaceable. There is history there that we don’t often think about because our history in the United States is so young compared to other places in the world. I love a book that teaches me things in a fun way. 

The characters were quirky, all in their own way. From the friends Lyn made, her writing students, her Italian teacher to a romantic man all women have dreamed of falling in love with. These characters leaped off the page and right into my life. I was sad when I finished the book because I am going to miss my new friends. 

I hope there is a sequel in the works! 

5 Stars.

#BookReview: How Fires End by Marco Rafalà

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Summary:

A dark secret born out of World War II lies at the heart of a Sicilian American family in this emotional and sweeping saga of guilt, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption.

After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another.

Desperate to escape this haunting legacy, Salvatore accepts the help of an Italian soldier with fascist ties who ushers him and his sister, Nella, into a new beginning in America. In Middletown, Connecticut, in the immigrant neighborhood known as Little Melilli, these three struggle to build new lives for themselves. But a dangerous choice to keep their secrets hidden erupts in violence decades later. When Salvatore loses his inquisitive American-born son, David, they all learn too late the price sons pay for their fathers’ wars.

Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

Review:

Marco Rafalà’s “How Fires End” is a Triumph! It is a powerful ache that you read until you find relief.

Rafalà puts his emotion on the pages; poignant moments shared between the characters and across seas and continents. He literally leaves your heart to cry or pound! All wrapped up in the hope I trust he wants us to believe in.

“How Fires End” is more than a story, it is an absolute truth being shared after generations of secrets.

Do not miss this debut novel, for I am sure this is the first of many evocative, strong, and must read novels by Rafalà.

 5 Stars.

#Giveaway: Arbitrage by Colette Kebell on Audiobook

CB8063D7-01D4-4E7F-8FED-0C875ABFEED5We have been kindly offered an Audiobook copy of Colette Kebell’s novel “Arbitrage” on audiobook.

Please leave a comment below if you are interested and that you will leave a review.

 

Summary:

Ryan Logan thinks he has it all… A young attorney specialising in finance and tax law, Logan has earned an impressive reputation and commands a hefty fee for his services. But when he advises his corporate employers against a merger with a shady financial institution, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of betrayal and deceit. Framed for the murder of his wealthy boss, Logan is forced to accept a plea deal, to keep his own dark secrets from coming to light…

Arbitrage is a fast-paced, stand-alone financial thriller. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, sweet revenge, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, you’ll love this eye-opening look into the world of financial crime.

Can a burned out lawyer outwit an army of con artists and killers?

#BookTour, #BookReview, #AuthorSpotlight, & #Giveaway: More Than by Diane Barnes

1798C4E2-9668-4819-B9C2-F2968E715622Reviewer: Serena Soape

Release Date: October 29, 2019

 Summary:

“You are obese, Mrs. Moriarty.”
Peggy Moriarty is stunned. She knows she’s let herself go a bit, but she thinks her young, skinny doctor is exaggerating. Her husband’s death fourteen years ago left her to raise their twins, Grace and Greg, alone. But now that they’re teenagers, doing their own things, her only hobby is watching Messages from Beyond, a show about a medium who connects the grieving with their deceased loved ones.

When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show and talk to her husband one last time.

With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her prolonged grief and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother,
a widow, and her body.

E81DD5F0-BE71-41C4-AE30-757C884CD07AReview:

Diane Barnes has written “More Than” about Peggy and her life starting when the doctor tells her that she is obese. It’s all the unbelievable result of sadness.

The story definitely kept my interest right from the start and was hard to put down!!! I loved the characters and how they all interacted with Peggy.  Peggy’s various circles were all rather entertaining, whether it was at boot camp with her friends home. I just enjoyed everybody.

Peggy’s story is one that would definitely be relatable to so many people that struggle with the same issues that Peggy has. But it’s “More Than” that!! It’s about resilience and pushing through! Peggy’s perseverance through Boot Camp, which she did more than once; was inspiring.

I found myself wanting to get back into exercising after reading this book. Now that should tell you something!

This was my first book for Diane Barnes, but definitely see more in my future.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

4 Stars.

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Author Spotlight:

Writer, Reader, Ridiculous Amount
of Chocolate Eater. 

How many people get to do what they love? Since I was old enough to hold a pencil, I’ve loved writing. Today, I’m fortunate enough to have two careers that give me the opportunity to write. By day, I write marketing copy and corporate communications for a company in the healthcare market. After hours I pen fiction.  I’m also a voracious reader and can sit for hours, preferably on a beach or by a pool, devouring good books.

I live outside of Boston with my husband. I don’t talk like a Bostonian, but some people still detect Southern California in my accent from the years I lived there. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m at the gym, running, or playing tennis, trying to burn off the ridiculous amounts of chocolate and ice cream I eat.

 

Follow Diane:

Website: https://www.dianembarnes.com/   Instagram:  @DianeBarnes777


GIVEAWAY –    3 eBooks. Just leave a comment that you’d like a copy  and that you’ll post a review. Giveaway Closes on Friday, November 1st, 2019.

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Summary:

Warm, powerful and unforgettable, Irish Times best-selling author Carmel Harrington’s new novel is about second chances, friendship and unlikely heroes.

‘Where is home?’ DJ asked.
‘Wherever the people you love are.’ Ruth replied.

Single mother, Ruth, and her son, DJ, have never truly fitted in, but that didn’t matter, so long as they were together. When their home comes under threat, their quiet life will change forever.

DJ meets Tom, a man who ten years ago walked out of his house and never looked back. Ruth, DJ and Tom have all felt like outsiders. Burdened with grief and insecurities, they are not living their best lives. But together, these three ordinary people will do an extraordinary thing…

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Review:

How does the world look to you? Through the eyes of Irish author Carmel Harrington’s characters in her new book “A Thousand Roads Home” the world takes on different meanings.

One man sees the world through the eyes of the homeless and lost. One woman sees the world through the uncontrollable confusion of autism. And a young boy finds the world an unstable place where home is hard to find.

My heart was captured by this compelling story of what home is and where to find it. This book illustrates how fragile people can be when life’s more difficult moments breaks down the human spirit. Then those same broken pieces can be scraped back together with loyalty & love!

This book has the capability of delivering one into a story more completely, with insightful views, like not many other books or authors I have read.

Pick a road, any road, just make sure it leads you down the path to purchasing a copy of this amazing book! I found myself, thanking myself, for buying this memorable tale!

4 Stars.

#BookReview, #Excerpt, #Giveaway & #HolidayReads: Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

C392CA06-7096-48F4-942E-AE62138637E0Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Release Date: Today. October 25, 2019

Summary:

USA Today Bestselling author Susan Schild writes heartwarming and funny novels about women over 40 having adventures, falling in love and finding their happily ever afters.

The soon to be released MISTLETOE AT THE LAKESIDE RESORT is a Christmas novella and the third book in Susan’s popular Lakeside Resort series. You’ll catch up with Jenny and her gal pals, fiancé Luke, and Levi and the boys as they plan a very special Christmas for guests at her rustic cabinson beautiful Heron Lake.

A few hints: Jenny’s been gifted a new vintage camper and has the jitters about her future with Luke. Charlotte and Ashe are at odds about their upcoming wedding, and Mama and Landis make a startling announcement.

If you’re looking for a feel good read to get into the Christmas spirit, Mistletoe at the Lakeside Resort offers cozy romance, classic Christmas carols, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a happily ever after.

 

Review:

“Christmas at Lakeside Resort” is a feel-good, charming and always engaging story about people you want to know and a place you want to visit! I’d call ahead and reserve my spot if I could right now for this upcoming Christmas Season!

Since we can’t do that…I suggest you get lost in the land that Susan Schild’s created at Lake Heron called Lakeside Resort.

Between the wonderful town, amazing people and absolutely delightful animals I could not put this novella down. I know you will feel the same way!

This is part of a series, but I believe you could read this first and then go back to the others! So….Grab this little piece of the holiday joy now….so you can start your celebrations early!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

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Excerpt:

“With a businesslike look on her face, novice house stager Charlotte pulled a scribbled list from her purse. “Ladies, I need accent chairs, even if they’re ratty. I need lamps, but only if there are two of them. Vintage water skis are hot. Look for lake-related memorabilia, like books or old pictures of families on the water. Dog prints always come in handy. Cool baskets, macramé, bowls, and rugs are useful though I’d need to sniff the rugs before I buy them. I got a beauty at an estate sale last year. When I got it home, I realized it smelled of dog tee-tee.” She wrinkled her nose. “That smell never comes out. Never.”

The parking lot of the fire hall was already packed, even though the sale didn’t officially start for another ten minutes. Mama expertly swung the big SUV into the last slot in a line of cars parked on a grassy roadside.

“Are we too close to a ditch bank?” Jenny asked nervously.

“I’ve got plenty of room,” Mama said, a confident look in her eye as she switched off the ignition.

The three of them stepped out of the SUV.

When Jenny paused to adjust her wrinkled sock in her boot, she heard a cry, a muffled thud, and then a small moan. Wildly, she glanced over to the driver’s side of the SUV. Mama had disappeared.

Charlotte realized something was wrong at the same moment Jenny did, and they both scrambled around to the other side of the car. Mama was sprawled in the grassy ditch, groaning and touching her right foot.”

….thank you, Susan Schild